Not Everything Needs A Pill: 5 Tips To Calm ADHD
My hyperactivity manifests its way into my life in some truly awesome ways—like giving me my bubbly personality and goofy spirit. However, I’ve gone through a period where I wasn’t so thankful for my ‘ADHD’ because it made it really hard for me to focus and think clearly.
During sophomore year of college, if I was working on a project, piece of homework or studying for a test, I could count on feeling somewhat foggy, bored and/or disinterested. It didn’t necessarily have to do with the subject that I was studying, I just felt like I had a constant fog, or somewhat of a ‘blurry lens’ when it came time to sit down and work.
Flash-forward to a short period of time where I believed that I was going to have to take medication for the rest of my life if I wanted to focus, get things done and stay energized throughout each day. What I didn’t know was that I just needed to start taking better care of myself and prioritize quiet time in order to rid my life of the fogginess that hung around.
When I truly began making some lifestyle changes and prioritizing my mental health just as much as my physical, I realized that some of the fog was disappearing, and so were some of my other symptoms—like afternoon slumps and random morning headaches. In this blog, I want to share a few of the things that have made the biggest difference in my mental clarity, so that you might find mental clarity too!
It doesn’t matter if it’s 5 minutes a day or 10 minutes twice a week. If you can try to fit meditation or some sort of quiet, uninterrupted time into your schedule, you will reap the benefits of taking the time to silence your mind. Our minds are so frustratingly active sometimes, and meditation helps train the mind to more easily ‘pipe down’.
Many of us have seen anxiety demonstrate itself in our lives via brain fog, the inability to focus, dizziness or hyperactivity. Since I began meditating on a regular basis, my ability to stop, breathe and truly think before panicking or worrying about a future situation or crummy circumstance in front of me has sincerely improved, and I’m so thankful for that. Pushing away the physical feelings of anxiety through meditation can help us think clearly and respond to circumstances more appropriately.
Try downloading the Calm App and see if you enjoy some of the guided meditations! Meditation is meditation—whether it’s unguided, guided, 60 minutes or 10, done alone or with a group, etc. Just do what you can!
2. Bulletproof Matcha
#YAY: my beloved Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil and Coconut Butter—combined into a creamy Matcha mixture with coconut milk, cinnamon, Further Foods collagen and hot water. It’s fatty, but fat is awesome for the brain! Your brain is about 60% fat, so it makes sense that you’d need to supplement that fat with healthy fats in your diet. To help maintain steady energy and mental clarity throughout the day, you could try drinking bulletproof coffee in the morning, eating more healthy fats—like avocados, olive oil and nuts—and opting for fatty snacks like walnuts, unsweetened chocolate or wild-caught salmon in the afternoon. (One of my favorite snacks right now is an Eating Evolved Keto Cup with almond butter on top…you’ll never look back.)
You can find some of my favorite Matcha Latte recipes here, or you can follow my go-to recipe below.
Bulletproof Matcha Latte
1 scoop Further Foods Marine Collagen, 10% off with code RAE10
2 teaspoons Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
½ teaspoon premium or ceremonial grade Matcha powder
1 Tablespoon coconut butter (I prefer Artisana Organics)
¼ - ½ teaspoon Ceylon or Cassia Cinnamon
¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 ½ cups hot water
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender for about 1 minute.
3. Limiting Carbohydrates
I picture a single carbohydrate like a rollercoaster rider. The carbohydrate get buckled into the rollercoaster car, rides up the long hill and shoots down from the peak at a fast pace to the end of the track—thrilled and exhilarated, but then left with no more tokens for another ride.
In this case, your body is the rollercoaster car and your bloodstream is the track. The carbohydrate gets broken down into glucose (sugar) as it rides up the hill and then your body quickly uses the glucose as energy (demonstrated in the rollercoaster’s quick ride down the track and abrupt stop at the end). Once the carbohydrate finishes the ‘ride’ through your bloodstream, your blood sugar might drop, causing you to feel tired or sluggish, because the carbohydrate has quickly finished running its course.
I try to avoid carb-heavy meals in general. Carbs give us a quick boost of energy, but can leave us with low blood sugar in the end. I find that when my meal is carb-heavy, I feel a difference in my ability to focus and maintain steady energy through the afternoon. And although fruits and veggies have carbohydrates too, I don’t notice fogginess and sluggishness after a big salad or healthy-fat-packed smoothie. Carbohydrates are important for energy, but so are protein and fat, so I try to opt for the latter.
4. Limiting Sugar
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate, so this is just another rollercoaster ride. When I limit sugar in my diet, I find that my skin is clearer, my mood is more stable and my cravings are under control. Clear mind clear skin? SURE.
Just like our brains are 60% fat, the average adult body is 60% water. Water helps all of our systems function optimally. Without it, we’re not the best version of ourselves, internally or externally. When you’re dehydrated, you might feel dizzy or experience brain fog. Why not help nix the possibility of those two by staying on top of your water game? “Drink more water, or you might die.” –Mick Jenkins
It might be hard to get into the routine of some of the things that I’ve listen above, but when you start to notice a difference in your brain fog and mental clarity, you’ll realize that every single little lifestyle change is totally worth it if it means you’ll feel great in the long run.
Do you have any tips for maintaining mental clarity?
Written by Rae Ehly
Rae Ehly is a 23-year-old Kansas-City native whose passion for the health and wellness industry led her to the creation of her blog, Wholehearted, where she shares anti-inflammatory recipes and research and thoughts surrounding hormonal health, gut health and mindfulness. Her creative spirit energizes her as she shares her love for all things Matcha and fitness related to her friends and followers on Instagram and her website.